Magazine

Pragmatism, creativity and a knowledge base

How can an organisation deliver better services for customers and also respond to the pressures that come from competition, financial targets and regulation? If customer focus does not work closely with these powerful forces it will fade and become a ‘nice to have’. Business design enables an organisation to align core business drivers with customer centricity.

Design and service design are moving up the agenda in business as tools that can open new ways to engage and win with customers. Design characteristics such as empathy, creativity and experimentation are of huge value. They are of even bigger value if they can be applied by teams within an organisation to bring in both the customer view and also tackle the internal challenges organisations face on a day-to-day basis.

Businesses need ‘customer blah’ to work for them

Customer centricity, focus or orientation? It is all ‘customer blah’ if it does not impact business performance. It is essential to validate the insights that come from understanding customers with the goals and capabilities of an organisation. Pure outside-in thinking will not cut it – we need to be able to understand business motivations too. It is when customer and business goals meet that there is a real opportunity.

Looking after the internal users and customers too

Achieving benefits for customers can require major change to the internal processes, systems and practices of an organisation. Changing the experience of a service setting like a shop or a metro station can impact complex employee, technology and logistical factors. Designing for these factors is fundamental to delivering for the end customer.

Bringing creativity to the blocks and hurdles

Creativity does not only belong to the world of customer experience and design. It is essential to effective engagement of an organisation in moving forward towards challenging goals. Customer insights, stories and scenarios can be used to unlock the creativity of internal teams to think more laterally and creatively about their challenges. Business design provides a creative space grounded in a pragmatic understanding of business reality.

For every customer complaint there are 26 other unhappy customers who have remained silent

Coming to the game loaded with insight

All customers are different but they also follow patterns that can be anticipated. Most customers, for example, have higher satisfaction if their first experience is positive. Businesses in different sectors also have their patterns and cycles. Knowledge of these two things – mapped in a service lifecycle – gives business design the ability to approach a situation with a knowledge base that enables rapid insight and results.

Structure, rigour and speed

Business design is creativity with a business brain. It brings frameworks that enable customer experiences to relate to business considerations, the rigour to validate and prove insights and concepts and it speeds the process by enabling design teams to start from a position of understanding the market, commercial and organisational challenges.

How to get results from customer focus

When business people talk about customer experience they also talk about the organisational challenge it brings. Customer focus is ultimately employed by leadership teams to deliver business results. Business design provides the bridge between the ambition and the delivery of value through customer focus.

Previous editions View all (58)

A second reading of McKinsey on Design
November 2018

A second reading of McKinsey on Design

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Employee engagement: A salary is not all people work for
December 2018

Employee engagement: A salary is not all people work for

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An agile-CX transformation at adidas
October 2018

An agile-CX transformation at adidas

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Designing for a bright mobility future
September 2018

Designing for a bright mobility future

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Smart machinery - the backlash
August 2018

Smart machinery - the backlash

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Nudges aren’t the holy grail of behaviour change
July 2018

Nudges aren’t the holy grail of behaviour change

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Interacting with Customers: Lessons from GDPR
June 2018

Interacting with Customers: Lessons from GDPR

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Experiential shift: helping luxury brands evolve
March 2018

Experiential shift: helping luxury brands evolve

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